Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lava Shader

Slowly getting back into the groove

Before diving in again in the depth of the Maya shading networks for the Project 2 of Maya Fundamentals, I had to make another shader just to get used to the Hypershade again.

With a quick Google search, I found a very cool, and not too hard, shader tutorial: A Lava Shader.

This was a great exercice to get back into the groove and learn a thing or two. Here's the result.

The brick shader is a downloaded shader just for the scene. The tutorial can be found here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Moved In

And got my "Intarwebs" setup

I'm back and kicking. This was a pretty exhausting few days, with all the moving. We're still (slowly) setting everything up, but we already know that we love the place.

Now that my computer is setup, I'll be able to continue Project 2 of the masteringMaya: The Fundamentals training. I should start shading the spaceship and the alien very soon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Random Update

Nothing too interesting... really...

I didn't have the time to update anything recently since I don't have time to do much "cool" stuff. Why is that, you ask? Well, it seems that me and Stef are moving out.

We're staying in town, but we're changing apartments. We're sick of upstair neighbors and basement apartments, so we're moving to a better apartment. The catch is that it's only one bedroom instead of two rooms like we currently have. But it's brand new (a few months old only), it's very well isolated, sound proofed, backyard patio, storage basement, space for Washer & Dryer... everything but the missing-room is better. Although it's only one room, it's a lot bigger then a traditional "one bedroom apartment".

So we're packing... packing... and more packing. I don't have time to do anything in Maya, and I barely play any video games at all (since most of them are packed).

I might post pictures once we're moved in.

In the meantime, I finally got my Phantom Hourglass Stylus.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Full Moon Show Interview

I recently got the opportunity to be interviewed for Insomniac Games' Podcast "The Full Moon Show" Season Finale. You can check out the newest episode (Episode 18) and hear James, Ryan, Brian and Rolf on the Podcast with Ted Price, me, and Ben Kaplan as guests.

Season 2 of The Full Moon Show starts January 17th, 2008.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals - Earth Done

That's right. After a PS3, the new Ratchet & Clank title, overtime at work, and so much more, I finally finished the Earth Shader for Project 2 of masteringMaya: The Fundamentals.

The current series of lessons is called Advanced Shaders and it's not for nothing. There's a few hours of work and three (somewhat) complex networks.

The Earth (top), clouds, and atmosphere Networks

Not having a simple file texture slapped on the sphere really opens up a new world of detail. No matter where the sun hits, on the night side of the Earth, city lights will shine through. The Earth also has added attributes for control over Mountain Height (controls the bump depth), Self Illumination, City Lights Intensity, Cloud Intensity, and Atmosphere Intensity. This level of control allows me to really tweak how I want my scene to look.

To show the complexity of those small details, I created a small demonstration.

Link to Video Page on Youtube in case the video doesn't load

I had a lot of fun making those Networks. But the lessons are not over. The spaceship and the alien still needs to be shaded.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Got my Hands on Tools of Destruction

I got my hands on the new Ratchet & Clank game for PS3 (Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction) yesterday. It's not before late last night that someone pointed this out to me...

I made it into another Insomniac Games credits...

Thanks a lot IG... you have no idea how much I appreciate all you did for me and the rest of the Moderators.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals - Fun

I love these lessons

This has been a pretty busy day of cleaning with Stef, with a big portion of the day being annoyed by the upstair neighbors taking care of two kids for a friend of theirs with the kids running back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth for hours.

I still managed to go through all the lessons that are before we start creating the advance shaders for the project. I'm very excited. My goal is start and finish the earth by tomorrow night.

Tonight, in the lessons, I created a Toon Shader.

I know there's Toon Shading already built in the last few versions of Maya, but this Toon Shading was built from scratch and I have the Network to prove it.

I really love working with Networks. I need to practice though. Maybe find some tutorials to just mess around with...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Clarification on R&C Release

There has been a lot of confusion or unsure information coming from various sources around the Web. Here's the official status:

The official release date is still October 30th. Because of unexpected speed in disc production (duplication), some retailers are getting their shipments early. They have been authorised to start selling the game starting the 23rd.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals - Already?

Three updates in one night. Wow... I'm shocked (not really)!

I said but a few hours ago that I needed to get back on Maya. Well I did. I was continuing through the theory lessons for the Advanced Shaders in Project 2. While going through my first video in weeks, I made something that was just too cool not to be posted: A procedural-texture of an Eyeball...

It's simple, it's not perfect—but as a beginner, I like it ;) !

Confirmation from Feadóg

Something I've been keeping a tight lid on is that I wanted (and did) order an Irish Whistle. There's a few reasons behind this, but I don't feel like discussing it now. I can say one of them: I wanted an addition to my flute in my dad's Worship Group at church.

I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money, so I did a lot of research. The best choice for my buck seemed to be a Nickel 'D' Feadóg. $9 USD isn't the end of the world. When I ordered, I didn't get an email confirmation... I thought that was odd. I waited a week. Nothing... I sent them an email... nothing. Today I get an email. The name sounded... Irish. It was my confirmation email. Their demand is so huge that they are implementing an automated order system, which should be up and running soon, so their staff was pretty busy while manual orders were piling up.

As a Web-Designer, I know the troubles they're going through right now. So no harm done. :) I'm just happy that my order went through.

R&C Future Moved Back to Original Date (?)

It would seem that Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction has been moved back from the pushed back date, back to the original release date... which is in five days (originally dated for October 23, then pushed to October 30, now back to the 23...)

Confirmation by SCEA through N4G.com.

I can already hear some of you: "Why should you care? You don't even have a PS3 yet..." I beg to differ ;)...

I've been saving money, a little at a time, strictly to purchase a PS3. Took about a year. When I finished my recent Photo-Retouching, I started rolling my change jars and it's only then I noticed that I reached my goal.

I've been playing Folklore since Friday night. I absolutely love it. It's a very well executed game with an excellent story delivery. The story will always leave you hanging and wanting more. While I played, on the first night, I downloaded the Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction Demo and the Resistance: Fall of Man Demo off of the PSN Store. The R&CF Demo is an absolute blast.

Now, it's time for me to get back on Maya ;)...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Uh oh...

It may take a while for me to update the blog with my Maya training. While working on the Advance Shading lessons of masteringMaya: The Fundamentals, I got contracted with a few Photo Retouching jobs. To make matters worst, I just got my hands on The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass... Damn you, temptation! Damn you!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals

Basic Shaders = Done

With all the new games I played, the photo retouching job I had, and my bad back, I didn't have much time left for Maya. Stephanie recently got the flu, so she's been resting a lot. Yesterday I decided to whip up to 'ol Maya project and work on completing the Basic Shaders lessong. Lo and behold! Here's how the backyard looks shaded.

I realize some of the saturation is off, but I haven't yet started to properly light the scene. With better lights, there's going to be minimal tweaking to the shaders for them to look better.

I loved working with the ball shader (the beach ball). It doesn't look complicated, but there's a ramp (gradient) that's feeding into another (Ramp2 -> Ramp1). It's the first shader-network of the scene. This enables us to create the effect of the vinyl cap on both ends of the ball with perpendicular stripes between them.

The stripes Ramp feed in the red color of Ramp1.

I should be starting the Advanced Shaders lesson. This is going to be a lot of fun. I always loved Networks (Native-Instruments Reaktor <3). Expect a lot more updates then usual for this lesson.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Made it on Matrix

I recently (yesterday) uploaded a picture of my Korg Electribe MX-1 (EMX-1) on my Flickr. Not long after, I get a comment from MatrixSynth (a gathering blog for synth-freaks from around the world) saying that my picture was posted there.

It's an honor, really. Check it out!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Great News About Stef'

Instead of editting, I decided to create another post so that this announcement doesn't lose any importance.

Stef' got called today by the College admission that she applied for, but seats were filled. During last week's first-day admission, someone didn't show up leaving a seat open. Stef' got called... she's going to NBCC Miramichi in Arts Fundamentals.

She starts tomorrow, pretty early. Congratulations, dear =)...

New PSP Faceplate

Yesterday I mentionned the PSP Faceplate I ordered. Well, Decalgirl.com doesn't mess around. When I got home for lunch, there was a package from them at my door step.

Inside was the faceplate, neatly packaged with everything I needed to install it and even extra screws, just in case. I previously had a DGX Flatblack Faceplate. The thing is with the DGX one is that it's not OEM, so installation was a pain and there was a huge issue with the Analog Nub hole of the faceplate not being centered with the analog module, so the upper sensitivity was cut when there was minimal pressure on the nub (tilting the nub fully up didn't make a character run, but walking or tip-toeing instead).

The Camy Pro Gear White OEM Faceplate was really easy to install and remove (dust and tweak) and I no longer have the Analog Nub problem. The faceplate is great. Take a look...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals and more

Backyard Update

With all the things that could slow me down, I finally did it. I finished modeling the backyard.

I should be starting to create the shaders very soon.

I mentionned things that slowed me down. There's Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Planet Puzzle League, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption just to name a few. I'm really surprised with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. My Wii is finally getting some lovin'. I should be posting my impressions after playing through once.

It was also my birthday on the 7th (yay! me!). Stef' knows that I love Micro-R/C stuff (things I can play with in the apartement in random moments of boredom), so she ordered a Air Hogs: Reflex for me. I can't wait to get it. I ordered myself a replacement PSP faceplate for the non-OEM Flatblack one that Geo gave me. The Flatblack is pretty cool (no finger smudges, yay!), but since it's non-OEM, the Analog Nub hole is not aligned with the Nub itself, so any thumb pressure "numbs" the sensitivity of the Upper vertical axis. I got the new Camy Pro Gear White PSP OEM-Faceplate since the Asterix white-one seems to be always sold out. Reviews are great for the Camy line of PSP Faceplate and tested to be true OEM, so this is going to fix my Analog Nub problem. I'll post pictures once I installed it (I first need to get it :P).

So that's pretty much it for now. Now that my vacation is over, that work is starting to become normal again, and that my birthday is passed. I just hope I won't be too stucked on Metroid Prime 3...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back from Vacation

Boy, am I lazy or what...

I've been back from my vacation for a week now and I haven't updated my blog since. I didn't do much during my vacation. One thing I surely didn't do is work on Maya (I didn't take the time to update Maya on my Dad's Win Vista laptop). Although I did get my car fixed finally.

Anyways. To make things worst, I bought two DS games on Monday (I traded 8 games though). I got Planet Puzzle League (I missed Tetris Attack. This is as good and better), and I got Rune Factory. I usually don't like Harvest Moon at all, but hell is Rune Factory addicting.

Tonight I decided to kick my self in the rear and sit down to work on Maya. I did start to model the Set (the backyard) for Project 2 last Friday, but I didn't like the fence. It's a classic Cliché fence and I wasn't comfortable with it, so I decided to make my own. A modern fence.

I'm very proud of the result especially since I made it all myself. I followed some of the technique from the old fence (which I built and kept for the sake of it), but it's mostly my work. I found a design I liked and used it as inspiration while building my own. Here it is:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Vacation, yeah!!!

That's right, I'm on vacation for three weeks. Here's a nice ShackNews interview with Ryan Schneider, Marketing Director at Insomniac Games to start off my well needed vacation.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

masteringMaya: The Fundamentals - Project 2 Update

Another Update
Just letting you guys know what how I'm doing with Project 2. I've been having a hard time modelling the Alien correctly. That's from being a beginner. The body is fine and the eye is, so far, just a sphere, but I had problems modelling the head correcly (with the Eyelid). I just could never blend the Head to the Body without having some bad pinching. Third time's the charm since I finally got it right. I'm going to stop for tonight since it's already almost 10:30pm. I'll continue the rest of the Alien tomorrow or whenever I can...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

As Promised a Week Ago

Here are three out of four photo restoration/retouching I was talking about last week.

Stephanie's Grandmother (~1956)

My Parent's Wedding (1982)

Great Grandmother's (?)

Monday, July 16, 2007

New CRH Surgical Suite Website Launched

One of the things that kept me really busy at work is the Website to show the construction progress of the New Surgical Suite of the Chaleur Regional Hospital.

The opening of the Surgical Suite is scheduled for February 2008. There will be a complete virtual tour on the Website just in time for the opening.

Here is the link: http://santeacadie-bathursthealth.ca/op/index-en.htm

Not bad for being restricted to Javascript technology, heh? ;)

Locked Keys = Not Fun

It's one thing to lock your keys in your car. But it's another when you're away at your family for the weekend (having your only spare key at the apartment), and when the only towing truck/car locksmithing service in the region you are is not available.

What do you do then? You bum your mother for a ride and you go get your spare key. That pretty much sums up the awful Sunday I had after an awesome Sunday morning... Friday the 13th was a little late for me this year <.<...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

This is Madness... or is it?

For those that were following my IGN Blog, you knew that I had a deadline for A major photo retouching job. A 51 year old photo to be exact. I forgot to mention that I had 3 other photo retouching jobs to be done on the exact same day. That day is tomorrow.

All 4 projects have to be done today at 6 p.m. so they can be printed to be ready for tomorrow's deadline. You think I'm crazy? You're right.

Last night I finished the 51 year old photo of Stef's grandmother. I also was able to start and finish a picture of my parent's wedding (25 years ago) and one of my cousin's wedding from two years ago (color balance and some artifacts to remove). I only have a very old (undated) picture of my both mother's grandmothers. This one's not really bad (compared to the original photo of Stef's grandmother) but it's still going to be a challenge to get them ready for 6 p.m. tonight.

Once the rush is over, I may upload the results on my DeviantArt account.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction E3 Goodness

Not much of a first post after the introduction, but the past two days have been great for new R&C stuff. The reason I'm making this post is that it has been brought to my attention that not everyone knows where to look for the good stuff. Here's a few links with new stuff...

Information and Hands-On Impressions



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another Blog Move

First is was from Microsoft Live Spaces to IGN Blogs. Now IGN Blogs to here. IGN had some great features, but lacked the community/popularity aspect. I'm hoping this will be my new Blog Home.

Just a few words to describe myself and my use for a Blog, I'm a Multimedia Designer and a gamer. I like to occasionally post about the games I'm playing and about my personal life, but I prefer to post about work I'm doing and my progress in learning Maya (3D Authoring Application used widely in the movie and video games industry by leading companies such as Pixar, Dreamworks, Insomniac Games, Naughty Dog EA Games, UbiSoft, and more...).

I'm also a a Moderator for the Insomniac Games company forums. Insomniac Games is the company responsible for the highly succesful original Spyro trilogy, the Ratchet & Clank series and the million-selling Resistance: Fall of Man.

If you want to read older entries, just click here.